The iPad has had an economical impact all its own, changing the way we purchase consumer electronics and software, and even accessories. Tablet accessories can be found anywhere, from the Apple store to Etsy, so getting your name out there is a difficult task for startups. And that’s where Kickstarter comes in, helping the unknown become known, raise funds and support all the same. The latest to launch an iPad accessory on Kickstarter is Touchfire, who’s Touchfire Screen-Top Keyboard for iPad is now available for purchase.
The Touchfire Screen-Top Keyboard is a clear silicone keyboard that snaps into place magnetically over the iPad’s on-screen keyboard. Its patented design transforms the hard surface of the iPad’s on-screen keyboard into a tactile typing experience, if you happen to miss the feeling of the tap-tap beneath your fingers as you type on a notebook or wireless keyboard. The Touchfire keyboard is now available for $49.99 via their website.
Touchfire was founded by Steve Isaac and Brad Melmon, two technology entrepreneurs who share a deep personal belief that iPads need to be better productivity tools.
“Over 65 million people use their iPads everyday but one of its major limitations as a productivity tool is that it is difficult to type on the glass surface. Until now, the only solution was to add on a heavy, bulky, battery-powered Bluetooth keyboard – negating the benefits of iPad’s sleek, light design,” said Isaac. “We created the Touchfire to fix the fundamental problems inherent in typing on the glass surface of the iPad. With the Touchfire, typing on an iPad is a joy, not a pain.”
The Touchfire keyboard weighs less than an ounce, is as thin as two credit cards, and works with all the current versions of the iPad. Since it’s flexible and thin, it can be easily stored with the iPad or rolled up in the cover, enhancing its mobility. The Touchfire keyboard is designed to handle the rigors of travel and is easy to clean with tap water.
Touchfire is another lucky startup that had their dream project turned to reality via the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Their initial goal was to raise $10,000 within seven weeks but they were able to reach that goal in just five days. By the time their project ended late last year, they’d raised $201,400 in initial funding, making it one of the highest-funded tablet-related Kickstarter projects. The funding came from 3,146 backers and over 4,400 pre-orders from enthusiastic customers before the product was even manufactured.
There are loads of other cool stuff for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch that wouldn’t have been possible without Kickstarter. Here are just a few interesting accessories to come out of the crowdfunding site:
Qwik-keyz – This innovation is like Touchfire for your iPhone or iPod Touch. The difference is that it also serves as an added protection for your screen while giving you ease in typing. Downside is, your iDevice might look like someone played a trick on you by sticking bubble wrap on your device.
TapCaps – if you don’t want to put anything on your device, and if you live in cold places that requires you to wear gloves when going outside, TapCaps could be the answer to your prayers. TapCaps is a patent-pending capacitive stickers that you just stick onto any glove to make it useable with a touchscreen, fooling your device’s touchscreen into thinking that you are actually touching it.
PhoneSoap – this is for all the germ-freaks out there, though everyone could actually benefit from this. This innovation sanitizes your filthy device. If you didn’t know, your smartphone is a breeding ground for microorganisms – it’s dirtier than a toilet seat. The great thing about this product is that while it disinfects your device, it also charges it.
Ubooly – the world’s first cuddly Smart Toy. Powered by your iPhone or iPod Touch, Ubooly promotes learning in kids by downloading interactive content, including games, stories, and adventures, every month over WiFi.
Last Alert – this app lets you find your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch even when it’s turned off, running out of juice, or just misplaced by family members or hidden by your dubious friends. The app sends off an audible sound when your device is running out of battery; before your device completely dies, it sends an e-mail regarding its last GPS coordinate; and if you have a secong iOS device, you can use that as a compass to actually track the whereabouts of your missing iOS device.